The Power of a List

Last night I made a list of everything we were going to do for school today. I went over it with Luke and Isabel and told them that once we were done they could play MarioKart. Luke was especially excited about this because we just unlocked the Special Cup on Saturday night, meaning four new courses to drive.

The list was:


Two worksheets each


Read and discuss one question for the science questions and answers book. (We actually did two – one about how male seahorses carry the babies and one about stomata, which are small holes in leaves that allow the leaves to let water and air in and to keep water out. Good to know.


Isabel do writing practice. (She practiced writing Vs and Ys.)
Luke continue working on his Bouncy Ball adventure story. (I’ll post it later when he’s done.)
Both write a letter to Melissa and Scott. (That’s my sister and her husband


30 minutes of free reading time. Isabel read some books to Sylvia and I couldn’t believe how much she’s improved recently.


30 minutes outside. It was a beautiful day today. The kids loved being outside. We even did our science reading on the back porch.

Plant Squash

We read the zucchini packet and then I let each of them, including Sylvia, plant some seeds.

Watch an Educational Program

Luke chose Man vs. Wild
Isabel chose How It’s Made

Read Book of Mormon

Continued reading in 1 Nephi 5

Clean Rooms

Luke and Isabel both did a fabulous job cleaning without any help.

So it took until about 1:45 to get everything done. After that, they played MarioKart for a while and then watched a Zelda movie. Luke also played WebKinz while Isabel took a nap. Whed she woke up, she was fascinated watching Luke playing WebKinz for a while. In the afternoon, Sylvia spent a lot more time in the backyard, playing in her wagon and moving rocks and dirt around.

This evening, they all helped me clean up the house and now we are waiting to go pick up Sabrina at the airport.

The kids are loving watching the progress of her flight – screenshot below.



Vegetables, Church, Cookies…and Barkley

Today was a little easier with the kids, mostly because I wasn’t trying to get any work done. I just had to get them ready for church, which takes a good amount of time. Luckily, our church isn’t until 1:00 so we had plenty of time. The two main things that slowed me down were trying to get the girls hair to look decent and finding shoes for Sylvia. I combed Sylvia’s hair about 10 times and she still ended up looking like Barkley by the time we got to church.

I think I did better on the meals today as well. Breakfast was easy since I bought Cinnamon Toast Crunch for the kids yesterday. For lunch, I made put together some celery with peanut butter, olives, prunes, green peppers and cheese sticks. Now that I’m typing that out, it seems like a pretty disgusting combination. Whatever, the kids ate most of it. For dinner, I made quesadillas, which is always a safe bet.

Then tonight, we made peanut butter cookies.


A Fellow Home Schooler!

I haven’t gotten too homesick. It was a very sad moment for me when I realized that for the last seven and a half years not a day has gone by that I haven’t exchanged kisses from my babies until this weekend. Other than that, I have been having such a fun relaxing time visiting my sister.


Some of you may have read Crystal’s blog before (a fellow home schooler). She lives 11 miles from my sister so I stopped by and she served cake. It was so much fun to get to know her better and meet her family. Here we are!


Weekend With Dad

Since Sabrina is making dolls and visiting caverns with her sister Natalie in Texas, I am watching the kids until Monday night. Yesterday, our friend Shellie watched the kids in the morning. I didn’t have enough time to get them totally presentable because I had to get to work. I did comb Luke’s and Sylvia’s hair because theirs looked the worst. When I dropped them off, Shellie asked me if they had eaten breakfast yet, which of course hadn’t even crossed my mind. I found out later that she made them pancakes for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. When I picked them up around 1:00, I told Shellie that I was sorry Isabel’s hair was a little wonky. She said, no problem, she had combed it AND worked on teaching Luke how to ride a bike! So that pretty much sealed it for me being a loser dad. But I really appreciate Shellie watching them. She has been a friend since high school, is a lot of fun and the kids loved being over there.

So yesterday afternoon, the fill rocks that I had ordered for my backyard had been delivered so I spent the afternoon working among three tasks: 1) Wheeling the rocks into the backyard 2) Updating people at work about what they should be working on 3) Homeschooling. Actually, homeschooling didn’t take much time, because we did science first and were reading about how flamingos eat and Isabel fell asleep. Sylvia feel asleep right after that and the two girls were asleep the rest of the afternoon. Luke was writing for a long time and then played WebKinz. After dinner (blueberry pancakes) I had Luke and Isabel do their math worksheets. Then we all played Mario Kart together. The kids then watched Bee Movie. Luke and Sylvia went to sleep but Isabel couldn’t because of her long nap. I was working online with our India Programmers and she kind of hung around me and watched some TV until about 12:30AM.

Today (Saturday) we went to Exploration Park. The kids played on the playground and ran around on the grass. After that we went to Target and bought some seeds for our garden and a gardenia bush. We had lunch at O’hanas Hawaiian BBQ. This afternoon, I worked in the yard and the kids played in the sprinklers. Sylvia followed me everywhere asking where her momma was. She’s asked about a hundred times (really) since Sabrina left. It’s cute but seriously it does become annoying after so many times. Her most common responses when I tell her that momma is in Texas are: 1) She just looks at me without expression or even blinking her eyes or 2) She says: “She’s not in Texas.”


Off to Texas….YEEEHAW!

This week we finished listening to the audio book, Ulysses Moore: Door to Time, by Pierdomenico Baccalario. My kids loved this treasure hunt type adventure book. I guess it is a series so next time at the library we will get Ulysses Moore: Long-Lost Map. Afterward I had them draw and write about their favorite part of the story.

Lately Luke has been going through the Secrets of Droon series books by Tony Abbott like crazy.

Alright, I am not into this.  I have obviously been very lazy about the blog lately.  Could it be because I am just too excited about my no kids no husband trip to Texas to visit my sister?!  I should return energized and motivated on Tuesday!

Red Rock Canyon

So I guess we are taking this week off from school. I wasn’t planning to, but decided it would be a good time for me to get things reorganized (which by the way I haven’t done yet.)

Yesterday we had a great unexpected field trip. We went with our friends, Tara, Stephanie and her three children, to Red Rock Canyon. Red Rock Canyon is a beautiful site with colorful desert mountains, desert plants, trails etc. At the visitor’s center the kids got booklets with different activities for them to do depending on age. For example, on one worksheet the girls had to find and draw a picture of four different types of cactus. They needed to complete four pages in order to become Junior Rangers.

After all of their hard work, they got a certificate, Junior Ranger badge, and raised their right hands and were sworn in. They were so proud and excited to help protect National Parks.

Our camera that we’ve had for four years (I guess that is a pretty good run) is dead, so here are pictures on Stephanie’s blog of our day.

Safety Nerd

We had green eggs and green milk for breakfast, which I thought was kind of fun, but Safety Nerd said he wasn’t going to eat it because it had food dye in it. I tried to convince him that it wasn’t green from food dye, it was green from SAINT PATRICK’S DAY MAGIC!!! No go.

Safety Nerd is a nickname that Joey and I gave to Luke a while ago. We only use that nickname behind his back mind you, oh, is that even worse? I guess it’s no secret, we are bad parents. I think it started when he was two and we tried to explain to him that we were only driving literally three houses down the street and that he could ride with out being buckled (more bad parenting proof.) He had a fit and panic attack until we buckled him.

We then played a hide the shamrocks game. Luke had some green paper cut out shamrocks he had received in the mail from his great grandmother and we took turns hiding them around the kitchen and finding them. I then tried to have Luke and Isabel write a story and see how many times they could use the word green. There was a team work problem there (too silly for me to even type) and so I said forget it, let’s just do our math and journals.

We then took a Costco berry smoothie to a friend of mine that is pregnant with twins and is on bed rest in the hospital.  Actually I had only met her once, but we go to the same church and I had heard that she was in the hospital.  It was really nice getting to know her better today, so now we are friends.  (More Safety Nerd Evidence: Luke told me that we couldn’t give that berry smoothie to my friend because it has too much sugar in it and pregnant women shouldn’t have too much sugar. I just told him that there is a lot of fruit in there too.)

This afternoon us girls read books in my bed while Luke practiced piano.  We then all made some more drawings and pictures to add to our book for Sylvia.